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US Student Sentenced to 26 Years in Italy Murder

An Italian court finds 22-year-old Amanda Knox guilty of murder and sexual assault in the 2007 slaying of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

An Italian court has convicted an American college student of murdering her British roommate, sentencing her to 26 years in prison after a year-long trial that drew intense media attention.

The court in the central Italian city of Perugia found 22-year-old Amanda Knox guilty of murder and sexual assault early Saturday in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher.

The eight members of the jury, including two judges, also convicted Knox's Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, of the same charges, sentencing him to 25 years.

All three were studying in Perugia at the time.

Kercher's body was found on November 2, 2007 semi-naked with her throat slit in the bedroom of the house she shared with Knox.

Knox's lawyer and members of her family say they will file an appeal against the verdict.

Prosecutors presented DNA and other forensic evidence against the defendants as well as an Ivory Coast citizen, Rudy Guede, who was convicted in October 2008 and sentenced to 30 years in prison for Kercher's murder.

They alleged that the three young people were high on drugs when they tried to persuade Kercher to take part in a sex game that turned violent.

Rudy Guede says he was in the house the night of the murder but did not kill Kercher. He is appealing his conviction.

Defense lawyers insisted that Guede, described as a drifter with a criminal record, was the sole killer.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.